Ever since Honda pulled the covers off the all-new 2017 Civic Type R, many have questioned Honda's decision when it comes to the hot hatch's three-tailpipe set up.
The three tailpipes certainly became a hot topic for enthusiasts, as some claimed that the three-tailpipe design was just for show, whilst others suggest that the three-tailpipe set up has been carefully engineered by Honda to add to the whole Civic Type R experience.
Rob Keough, senior product planner for the Honda Civic Type R told Road & Track that Honda wanted to offer two exhaust systems in one - a louder, sporty sounding one when the car accelerates, and another quieter one for cruising. Honda could have easily achieved the desired result by using electronically-controlled flaps and sound generators, like many other manufacturers. However, the team insisted on using a simpler, lower cost, more reliable setup that has no moving parts.
In order to achieve that, Honda split the single exhaust into three separate pipes just after the rear axle, with the two outer exhaust pipes leading into large straight-flow mufflers. As for the centre exhaust pipe, a carefully-shaped and engineered resonator keeps droning to a minimum. In its efforts to make the Civic Type R more comfortable for day-to-day use, Honda also put in additional sound insulation on top of the carefully-engineered exhaust note.
Honda says that when there are more exhaust gas flowing through the exhaust, some of the exhaust gas will be directed through the resonator, creating an aggressive exhaust note that is audible from inside and outside the Civic Type R. Then when the Civic Type R cruises on highway speeds, the resonator gets filled with exhaust gas and airflow is blocked, pushing exhaust gas to the two large straight-flow mufflers, effectively reducing droning noises.
"This is a very simply designed system where you’re getting the effect without additional moving parts. It's a very durable, low cost and effective solution." he told R&T.